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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident Summary Nr: 896365 - Employee Dies Of Asphyxia In Manhole

Accident Summary Nr: 896365 -- Report ID: 0355118 -- Event Date: 06/13/1997
Inspection NrDate OpenedSICNAICSEstablishment Name
12661045006/16/199791990City Of Martinsville

Abstract: At approximately 2:08 p.m. on June 13, 1997, Employee #1 and a coworker, water department workers, removed the manhole cover to an 8 ft deep meter pit to confirm the size of the water main. Employee #1 entered the pit by descending a set of ladder rungs along its side. Once his head was below the ground surface, he called out the size of the main to the coworker, who remained outside the pit. The coworker stated that Employee #1 then immediately collapsed and fell to the bottom of the pit. He was removed by the coworker and other employees by means of a rope looped around the his foot. Attempts to revive Employee # 1 were unsuccessful; he died of asphyxia. Meter readings taken at a later time indicated 12.8 percent oxygen in the pit.

Keywords: oxygen deficiency, asphyxiated, confined space, work rules, air monitoring, scba, pit, fall, manhole

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Nr Age Sex Degree Nature of Injury Occupation
1 126610450 Fatality Asphyxia Supervisors, mechanics and repairers

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